Bug Reports and Feature Requests are the two most valuable categories on the Forum, in my opinion. Categories like Help and Feedback, while certainly more beneficial to the average developer, aren’t unique to the Forum and thus aren’t as valuable.
Unlike other avenues of communicating with the staff team, posting in the Forum allows others to review your concerns, show staff the urgency of a post, and suggest changes to a proposal.
That is why I believe reopening these categories, and by extension, reopening TL2, should be a significant concern for DevRel.
Many people have posted their proposals on this very topic, all shut down for various reasons, although one thing is clear:
Manually approving posts is no longer a viable solution. It is too much effort, and favoritism is inevitable.
For this reason, I propose we keep the system as it is, but we return to stat-based promotions to TL2. This proposal has been successfully argued against before, but I would like to add my arguments to the mix.
Stack Exchange, home of the famous Stack Overflow, has over 100 sites. Its largest have millions of posted questions, tens of millions of users, histories spanning over a decade, and many times the activity of the DevForum.
How do such large sites manage the hundreds of daily posts? Self-moderation centered on a reputation statistic.
On these sites, you gain reputation by doing several actions:
- Solving someone’s question successfully,
- Getting upvoted by others,
- Posting a question others consider helpful,
among many other reasons.
The DevForum has no single computed statistic like the StackExchange sites. Yet, it is evident that statistic-based trust for sites can be used, even on the scale of the DevForum or larger.
Perhaps that is why Jeff Atwood, founder of StackOverflow, decided that stat-based trust was the best approach for Discourse, the forum software the DevForum uses, back when he founded it.
We believe this [stat-based] trust system has been a success so far, as it leads to stronger, more sustainable communities by carefully empowering members, regulars, and leaders to curate and lead their own communities.
- Jeff Atwood
The purpose of the trust level system, once again described by Jeff Atwood:
Trust levels are a way of granting experienced users more rights over time, so that they can help everyone maintain and moderate the community they generously contribute so much of their time to.
To reach TL2, someone has to do multiple things:
- Visit the site consistently over a lengthy period, months, or even years
- Read through tens of thousands of posts and their replies
- Not been suspended or flagged too many times
- Make many meaningful replies and solutions
- Have a large contribution-to-hearts ratio
Given these metrics, I do not believe it is possible to grind to TL2. Anyone who has met these criteria is an active contributor, has been on the Forum for a while, reads through many posts and their replies, knows the rules well, and makes contributions others feel are helpful.
Three statistics counter this idea: your heart-to-contribution ratio, your’s number of contributions, and who hearted who. By requiring a minimum ratio for TL2, you force users to make contributions that others deem helpful. By enforcing a minimum number of contributions, you avoid cheating the ratio. Finally, by checking who hearted who, you ensure the disuse of an alt and favoritism.
Thank you for reading through this somewhat lengthy post. I’ll try to respond to anything quickly.